Week 1

In The Beck Diet Solution, the first two weeks of the program are spent training the mind for how to [organize] successfully.  While some of the techniques of these first two weeks do produce results, the target is to begin after two weeks of preparation.

Day 1:
Record the advantages of reducing clutter.  This will be the first response card.

 Response cards motivate yourself everyday so you can stick to your plan, apply good time management skills, deal with tiredness and boredom, resist procrastination and get back on board when you make mistakes.
You think you just know why it’s important, but impulses and feelings have gotten the better of you in the past. (pp. 54 & 55, adapted)

Imagine how being organized will affect the various facets of your life.  One goal I’ve thought in the past, but never written down, is that I want to feel comfortable inviting anyone over to my home (e.g. our congregation group leader).  Other goals incorporate what I see as the clutter process.  If I am organized, I won’t have to purchase things I can’t find.  Keeping organized will also prevent the crisis cleaning that forms clutter.  I hope that by keeping organized, I can teach my children to also be organized.  I will have more energy, time, and even space for creative pursuits.   My home will be physically safer.  I could entertain people regularly.  I will feel more peaceful, which is a big deal for me.  I won’t feel self-conscious about my house.  I’ll feel in control.

There are secondary benefits of confidence or self esteem that come from accomplishing your goal.  I have successfully implemented a fitness and nutrition lifestyle change for 3 1/2 years, and an important idea for me is that it needs to be about self care, not restriction or punishment.  We are resisting sabotage, or an internal voice that wants us to be permissive.  We need to find the path between permissive and authoritarian.

Application:  Write this in a place you can review it twice a day.  If you aren’t convinced you need to do this step, check the sabotaging thoughts page again.

Day 2

Pick two reasonable plans.

This has been a difficult one for me to translate.  I guess there’s the flylady plan, which I just haven’t had good luck with.  My husband thinks it is the devil, and I’ve never kept on top of the snowball that is supposed to come from shining the sink each day.

Beck does mention that all diets work in one way, and there are two principle strategies to get there.  I guess here might be where we translate calories to clutter.  And I see my strategies as cleaning and organizing.  I know I’ve said cleaning is one of the causes of clutter.  It’s kind of how in diet, restriction leads to binges, perhaps.

So I guess the important things about this step are that the diet is not magic.  You have one waiting in the wings if the preferred diet doesn’t work.  The other thing is that there will be periodic indulgences.  I am not entirely sure how I will work that end of it.  One of the puzzling things about clutter is that it is decidedly less pleasant than eating.  I guess I could give myself a limit on things I can keep as I go.  Like, yesterday I photographed and then discarded several art projects my kids got from school, but there was one that was a handprint, which I decided to keep.  Another one I really struggled with was a stocking my mom made for my daughter.

Commit in writing

I picked a primary diet and a backup diet that are: reasonable and effective.

Once I accept the fact that I have to follow a time management plan for life, organizing will be easier.

Day 3 Eat sitting down =>set a timer when using the internet, or other procrastination magnets

I wondered about how to translate this for a long time.  The chapter discusses standing and unconscious eating, as well was psychological satiety.  So I considered it being involved with how clutter enters the home.  But this morning i unexpectedly fell into the internet, and realized getting a handle on that is important.  The timer helps me stay focused on what I came on the internet to do.  Things grab my attention and I move from thing to thing.

Day 4 Give yourself credit

This one does not need any particular translation from the diet to the organization plan.  The idea is that people who struggle with self care tend to get down on themselves and don’t feel normal giving themselves credit for what to do right and for wrong things they avoid.  I think it’s important to not get down on yourself for getting down on yourself.  Just figure out something you can credit yourself for.  Beck says this will allow us to move forward from setbacks.

Day 5 “Eat slowly and mindfully”

I have not been able to figure out how best to translate this one.  In a way, it goes very much along with day 3.  I guess the third component of my Advantage statement talks about preventing crisis cleaning, by investing time in cleaning on an ongoing basis.  My public area cleaning has suffered a a bit this week due to the push on getting my basement room carpeted.  I guess I should get to sleep so I can address that in the morning.

Day 6 Find someone to commit to be your [organization] coach

I decided to send a group email to my siblings, and one was really interested in being a kind of training buddy. We set up an organization on Asana.com. I got some good response talk from others, one of whom said work on your weaknesses but don’t neglect your strengths. I think something thats important is we have a tendency to dive in full throttle and burn out.

Day 7 Prepare your environment

Im going to try using my new Woman cave as a decluttering zone. We’ll see how it goes. I have bookshelves to go in there, and then i want to move a 6 cube cubby down there, which i think will help sort the multiple use boxes.

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